Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform

6 11 2010


“Equal Protection”

These are 3 cases consolidated questioning the constitutionality of the Agrarian Reform Act. Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights includes a call for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform program. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA 3844, Agricultural Land Reform Code, had already been enacted by Congress on August 8, 1963. This was substantially superseded almost a decade later by PD 27, which was promulgated on Oct 21, 1972, along with martial law, to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. On July 17, 1987, Cory issued EO 228, declaring full land ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued lands covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. This was followed on July 22, 1987 by PP 131, instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), and EO 229, providing the mechanics for its implementation. Afterwhich is the enactment of RA 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, which Cory signed on June 10. This law, while considerably changing the earlier mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its provisions.

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6 11 2010
ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS IN THE PHILIPPINES, INC. et al vs HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM et al « Case Digests

[...] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs CAYAT Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform [...]

16 08 2012
Ylangylang Cruz

How about tresppass /unlawful detainer by squatters
who are emboldened by CARP to settle & usurp the landowners’ property? The court seems so biased towards even
those who commit crimes such as taking produce from
the land they do not own & trespassed upon with impunity?

Frequent postponement of hearings granted by the court,
drags the case & depletes the resources of the small
landowner for decades.

Where is the spirit of the law or the equal protection
of rights for the law abiding tax paying small landower?

He does not receive anything from the land he has title
to, he can not go to his property to farm/manage it himself because the trespassers make it untenable/unsafe.

They have unlicensed firearms.

With this kind of skewed interpretation of social justice
where the one who trespassed, squatted & brought in more
squatters gets to stay on the legal owner’s property,
it looks like it is all so one sided in favor
of of those who steal/grab from the law abiding, tax paying
smalll landowner/s.

Eventually, the rule of law is eroded because those who
are tasked in interpreting same does so only with one
party in mind. This kind of “justice” practically gives
the land to the trespasser despite ownership of title.
It will erode the faith of small landowners
majority of whom
are in the middle class in the
judicial system.

The middle class is supposed to be the vanguard of society.Weakened & thinned, the middleclass willbe rendered inutile to perform its socio-economic mandate.

Deprived of rightful enjoyment/utilization of their land,
the middle class small landowners will just be as impoverished or become impoverished as the intended beneficiary of this sham of land distribution system in the name of “social justice” gets to own the land that
rightfully belongs to the middle class small landowner.

It so easy & convenient for owners of shielded vast tracts of
land to seize & expropriate smalll tracts of land belonging to small landowners who are mostly in the middle class.

They are not affected by CARP. Their 100’s or 1000’s of hectares are owned by a corporate entity. They have converted their land to industrial use or big agribusiness.

Hence, it is no sweat to be so benevolent at the expense of
the middle class. They are dispensing others’ properties
not their own wealth—ill gotten or not.

This distribution of wealth,so called “humanitarian” move
should have started with owners of big tracts of private land,idle public lands,& extensive land holdings of the church.

There should be fair & equitable distribution of
wealth/land except for those whose wealth/land are
enormous. Is that right? That is hypocricy & exploitative
& condescending offensive onslaught on people’s
intelligence.

It is a very narrow selective self serving
interpretation of “social justice”.

One can cite all the laws relevant to the issue.
Not all the expertise of debate is going to convince
even the most mediocre that this redistribution of
wealth/land system (based on actual cases of
implementation)
is reasonable nor justifiable.

If the law is ambigous or
controversial by itself, then it
should be modified or repealed.

It will not serve
its purpose if one group, in this particular case ,
the small landowners,are deprived of their land
even by trespassers or squatters because the law says
squatters who are punishable or can be
affected by the new law
in the definition are those
who can be classified as “professional squatters”.

If they are landless & can not afford to support
themselves then they are in effect not classified
as “professional squatters”. In essence,they will
be exempted.

Is it fair to the small landowner who has title to
the land, been paying taxes, but impeded from
setting foot on his property because

despite
years of litigation, the trespassing squatters
who is stealing produce from his land,
invited other similarly inclined trespassing squatters
to occupy the land he squatted on & grabbed
& armed themselves with unlicensed firearms to
further intimidate the rightful owners
can not be ejected from his private property
that falls within the retention law?

We do not need the gobble d gook sophisticated
legal lingo for this. It is merely common
sense. You can not take from Juan & give to
Jose what legally belongs to Juan.

Why not distribute your own land or wealth first
if you have more than 5 hectares?

Just compensation? That is another laughable
matter. It is laughable except when you are
the intended victim.

Fair & just compensation?
A piece of land which would sell for
at least P1000/sq.meter will be valued at how much?

Who is going to stop the beneficiary squatter
tenant from selling land taken from
legal law abiding
tax paying citizens now owned by
these beneficiaries from
selling at true market value which the present
system will not allow the small landowner to
receive as just compensation?

Forget about all the technicalities.
The bottom line is, the way it has been
set up will not allow so called just compensation
to the landowner.

It will take three parties who are in agreement to
finalize the deal. You can appeal?
Are you kidding? To whom? All the agencies involved
have their laws to go by— the acceptable formula
set by the implementing agencies that are given
the responsibility to put into effect the tenets of
CARP.

In theory beautiful, laudable, sublime, humanitarian,
etc. etc.

It is all that except for the hapless
middle class small landowner.

Okay, after the middle class has been rendered useless/
powerless, what is left or who is left?
The very rich oligarchs who have taken measures to
protect their wealth & by no means is bothered by the
“trifling” nuances of the small landowners.

Who else? Just like prior to CARP the peasants who
now by virtue of an inequitably implemented law,
became title holders or physical possesors of land
that belonged to the rightful small landowners.

Because local big business & their foreign cohorts
are beckoning them to lease or sell their “lawful” landholding for mono crops such as those intended
for biofuels & other big scale agribusiness,
due to
ignorance/economic needs they will lease
or sell not knowing or bothering to find out
what the long term consequences will be.

Ecological imbalance for one, food & water shortages,
soil erosion & more disastrous flooding.

Another thing, why base all our laws on laws in
another country such as the US?

There is no comparison in area.
The culture & traditions
are different.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for so called
humanitarian sentiments or social justice but
not at the expense of one group/class.

I’m not a lawyer. However,I believe everyone should have
an input on this issue; not just the governemnt
and its three branches.

All groups’ interests should
be taken into consideration.

The laws should be clear.

It is either you criminalize illegal activity or you
don’t. The implementation should be
fair for all parties & done within a reasonable period.

How long should it take to prove who owns the property
vs. impostors/trespassers, illegal occupants, land grabbers,
usurpers of the legal & rightful title holder’s rights?

A law should be created to limit the number of postponements
for unlawful detainer/forcible entry, trespass,
squatting,landgrabbing. A law should be introduced
to define clearly a reasonable time for adjudication
of such cases.

In the present set up, the law abiding,tax paying
small landwoner who was robbed of access & use of his land
by clearly criminal elements, has to suffer moral
& financial hardships due to
the frequent postponements, years (and in many cases
decades long) of litigation.

This situation is a travesty of justice—& selective
& narrow interpretation of the law.

The intent may have been for the good of all
but if the law itself is not clear, subject to
varying debates,interpretation & decision,
justice is long denied the lawful owner.

This is a very important matter that deserves
the attention of everyone who is in the position
to take the initiative for administrative remedies
& repeal of the ambigous law that repealed
Marcos’ agrarian reform presidential order.

The survival & continued role of the
middle class in maintaining a balance of
power in the nation is at stake.

Matalino man tayo kung ang katalinuhan ay para
lang sa pansariling kapakanan at kung tutuusin
sa iilan lang na higit ng nakakaangat sa karamihan,
ay ano naman kayanng
kinabukasan ang ating maratnan???

Para sa atin lahat itong aking mga minumungkahi.
Uunlad at magiging malakas ang ating pagaasenso
kung walang naaapakan na bahagi ng lipunan.

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